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Lego Study Highlights Importance of Play in Teaching & Learning Life Skills

Nov 18, 2020

Image: Shutterstock

Faizel Patel – 18/11/2020

(Twitter: @FaizelPatel143)

A Lego Play Well Study has revealed that play not only benefits children, but their parents too, with South African children saying that playing as a family makes them very happy while they learn new things.

Parents say that playing together with their children helps them communicate with each other better, and helps build stronger family bonds.

The study, based on responses from children and parents in 18 countries including South Africa for the first time.

It provides a deeper understanding of how parents and children feel about play, how it impacts family relationships and childhood development, and how playing with construction toys such as Lego sets helps children develop important social skills for the future.

Kristian Imhof, country manager South Africa for Lego says the simple, instinctive act of play is crucial for the development of young minds and bodies.

“These findings show that play is also a key building block in nurturing family relationships.”

Award-winning human potential and parenting expert, Nikki Bush says we have a very narrow view of learning, thinking that it only happens between the covers of books, on a digital screen or within the four walls of a classroom in a school.”

“Play is thinking made real or visible. Children put their own thoughts and ideas to the test when they play. They thrive on making things happen, on testing their natural curiosity through discovery rather than having knowledge drummed into their heads in a formal way.”

The findings further revealed that while almost all (97%) South African children crave more quality time playing together as a family, instead of playing on their own, 81% said that their parents are too busy to play with them.

However, this finding wasn’t unique to South Africa, most children from the other countries felt the same way.

It also found that play helped 88% of parents relax during the COVID-19 lockdown while 97% said that it’s helped them to connect with their children more during this time.

Construction toys such as Lego bricks offer unique play experiences that help develop these essential relationships through the power of play, while providing fun and engaging experiences for children and their parents.

“Children who engage in Lego play have the opportunity to use their imaginations to bring ideas and fantasies to life in their own unique ways, while learning and growing by connecting and deconstructing the bricks.”

The Lego Group commissioned the study to understand more about the value of play in supporting a more creative and resilient society, with its intention to find even more ways to release a child’s potential from the time they pick up their first LEGO® brick.

Some interesting statistics that emerged from South African parents and children (also included in the attached infographic):

  • 95% of South African parents feel that playing as a family “helps with a child’s development (i.e. improves their critical thinking, social-emotional development, creativity, language, physical development etc.)”
  • 92% of South African parents agree that play can help their children develop problem-solving skills.
  • 93% of South African parents agree that play can help their children develop creativity, while 95% of South African parents say that building creative confidence will help children be successful in life.
  • 88% of South African parents agree that play can help children develop academic skills.
  • 99% of South African Children believe that playing together as a family helps them learn new things.
  • 92% of South African parents think technology skills* will be among the top skills that employers will look for, while 96% South African parents agree that STEAM toys will lead their child to develop an interest or skills in STEAM topics.
  • 96% of South African children say they learn better when they play and many wish they could play more with robots.




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